Lee Jeffries is a photographer who uses the stark contrast between light and dark in his portraits to explore religion. His collection of photographs, “Homeless,” features portraits of homeless people shot in striking black and white. He suggests that the darkness in the photographs symbolises loneliness and despair, whereas the light connotes a sense of hope and faith. The clarity and visceral nature of Jeffries’ work is gaining him recognition in the art world.


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Jeffries acknowledges that these collectible portraits “come across as religious iconography, and that is no accident.” The suffering and poverty that is portrayed in his work seems almost serene, and clearly reminiscent of the renaissance iconography of Raphael, Masaccio and van Eyk.

Jeffries cites Rome as the first place he experienced the unique feeling of selflessness, and his experiences there directly affect his artworks. In 2008, a close friend’s Mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and had always wanted to go to that particular city. Jeffries went for the woman as a personal pilgrimage to buy a rosary from the Vatican and have it blessed. This is the first time, Jeffries says, that he “felt faith, compassion… a sense of religion.” He describes Rome’s atmosphere as “intoxicating,” and carries his memories of the place with him everyday. This sentimentality is reflected in his work, according to the artist, who claims his pieces were all “subconsciously born in Rome.”

Jeffries’ friend’s Mother is now buried with the rosary he bought for her.

More info: riseart.com

Untitled by Lee Jeffries

Untitled by Lee Jeffries

Untitled by Lee Jeffries

Untitled by Lee Jeffries

Untitled by Lee Jeffries